Best Thing You Can Do for Your Kids in 2017

It matters not if your kids are 3, 9, 15, or 26. It matters not if you are the mother, father, grandparent, or foster parent. It isn’t starting a college fund, or reading more, or even spending more time with them – all of these things are good, but not the best.  The number one thing you can do for your kids in 2017 is draw near to God.

holding-hands

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

imitation-6When you draw near to God, and He draws near to you – God enables you to make better decisions.

Parenting is a serious of questions. Should I give birth in a hospital, birthing center, or at home? What do I do when my toddler throws a fit in the store? What do I do when my child is bullied? Should we allow our child to date – ever? How will we ever fund college? How do I relate to my adult child? Those are the important questions – then there are the day to day ones you don’t want to admit you ask – Will eating boogers harm my child? How many days in a row can my child wear his superhero shirt before a well meaning philanthropist gives me a bag of hand-me-down clothes? Why do I feel more like a stalker than a parent while chaperoning a date?

Got questions? God has answers. He will lead you every step of the way as you parent your kiddos.

Isaiah 40:11 says, “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” and James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Couple that with Proverbs 2:6 “For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Draw near to God and He will guide you and give you wisdom.

mother-daughter-1

When you draw near to God, and He draws near to you – you will be a better parent. Another verse that says much the same thing as “draw near to God” is John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” When we draw near to God, abide in Him – we bear fruit. Galatians 5:22 -23 tells us what the fruit we bear looks like, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”  Notice: 1) The fruit is singular – they are not individual character traits. 2) The fruit is a result and not a goal. We should not try to be more loving, have more joy, learn patience – etc. Instead, we should abide in the vine and the result will be the Holy Spirit living in us – which appears as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to the outside world. 3) The fruit is not for us. Fruit which hangs on the tree too long rots. Fruit is meant so others can be nourished by it and enjoy its sweet taste. Draw near to God and the Holy Spirit will produce fruit in your life that your children will taste and see that God is good. (Psalm 34:8)


father-son-2When you draw near to God and He draws near to you – you will be worthy of imitation.
87% of youth raised in church walk away from the church and from their faith in college and most do not come back. The 13% who stayed strong in their faith all reported having at least one adult – usually a parent – who demonstrated a close relationship with the Lord and discipled them to do likewise.

In The Education of a Child, Rudolf Steiner states, “Most people would ask how a child should behave, but …adults should learn how to behave in front of children, even in words, attitudes, and thoughts. . We must have and live the thoughts that we feel could and should live in the child.”

The apostle Paul  believed in the importance of Imitation as well. He wrote in I Corinthians 11:1 “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”

If we want our kids to draw near to God, we must do so first.

The best thing you can do this year for your kids is to put God first yourself. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you – in 2017.

 

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My Chatterbox

I crawl into my bed, fluff the blankets, snuggle into the blankets – when suddenly my bed shakes and bounces me up as my 16 year old son leaps from the door onto the bed in excitement. He’s just made a list of all his recommendations for “must-see” movies. He excitedly rambles on about each movie and why it’s on his list. I forgot how tired I was as I join in his excitement and we laugh and chat on my bed.
Throughout the years, I’ve listened when I thought my ears would fall off and my brain would go numb from hearing things I care nothing about. Believe me, when I tell you I have listened to hours upon hours of talk about Yu-Gi-Oh! Comic Book Heroes and Villains, and let’s not forget the Zombies.
I’ve been given random “pop” quizzes to test whether I was “really” listening or whether I was “pretending” to listen by nodding my head at appropriate times but thinking about my grocery list.
“List for me which Superheroes are DC and which are Marvel?”
“Did Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger make a better Joker? And Why?”
“What is the best rout of escape from our house in a Zombie apocalypse?”
 “What is the best weapon to use in against Zombies?”
Although my test scores don’t really reflect my true intelligence, the grades reflect way more than those I received in college because instead of an “A” on a report card, I’m rewarded with a teenager who hops on my bed in excitement and tells me about his world.
THE CHATTERBOX
Ann Taylor
(Revised by me)
From morning till night it was Dre’s delight
To chatter and talk without stopping:
There was not a day but he rattled away,
Like water for ever a-dropping.
 
No matter at all if the subjects were small,
Or not worth the trouble of saying,
‘Twas equal to him, he would talking prefer
To working, or reading, or playing.

 

 

 

 

Kymee or Baby Gaga?

5 Things you would never do with your first born

5.Dye her hair pink
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder ~ and Mandy loves hair dye. She’s been asking to do this forever, and I’m mother of the year in her eyes for having enough of a sense of humor to say “yes.”
It does accentuate her eyes – don’t you think?

I’m obsessively opposed to the typical.
~ Lady Gaga
4. Let her eat junk food
So, one day I feed Kymee some foam from my frappuccino and say, “I know I shouldn’t do this.” Grandma quietly admits she’s fed Kymee whipped cream. Stephan speaks up, “Well I’ve feed her chocolate.” Emylee, “I snuck her the inside of a twinkie.” Andres and Grandpa, “Icecream.”
Everyone admitted they thought they were the only one doing it, and they wanted to bribe her so they’d be her favorite!
Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.
~Don Kardong

3. Divafy her


This is so much fun. When Emylee was little, we were so blessed to receive hand-me-downs because we were dirt poor. I dressed her in what God provided. But I have to admit, that God has blessed me this time around by allowing me to choose clothes I like for Kymee!
Divas are not made, they are born.

~ Fiona Apple
2. Spoil her rotten
I told Emylee I was worried. I’m about to have two grandsons, and they’ll only be a little over a year younger than Kymee. I have to be a “mom” to Kymee, but I’ll want to spoil my grandbabies. Emylee started laughing histerically, finally she said, “Don’t kid yourself, Mom, you spoil Kymee rotten!”
I figure, I’ve had 2 14 year old girls – I know the truth – she won’t always want me to hold her tight and snuggle into my neck. I’m going to enjoy it while I can!


Never fear spoiling children by making them too happy. Happiness is the atmosphere in which all good affections grow. .
~Thomas Bray

1. Trust your instincts

With my firstborn, I read all the books, listened to older wiser moms, and tried to do everything “right.” I called the pediatrician if my baby didn’t match the chart for their month in “What to Expect the First Year.” Someplace between my first and my fifth, I realized: GOD GAVE THIS CHILD TO ME. HE TRUSTS ME. I SHOULD TRUST ME. There is no one like Kymee. God placed her in my home because He believed I would be the best one to raise her for Him, and to give her pink hair.

I still read the books (when do kindles run out of memory?) I still look for good, godly advise. But I spend more time praying and studying God’s Word to answer my parenting questions. God is the ultimate example – it took me five kids to “get” it. Maybe my friends with only 2 kids aren’t as hard-headed as me.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Is. 40:11